From what I’ve read and what I’ve seen Hexokinase really gave a great break down of the individual issues with each photo.
Now take this information with a grain of salt, my degree is in animation but I have been trained in some high end cameras for film and I believe film and photography have some major similarities.
One big thing you should always keep in mind is the rule of thirds- It will make your photos much nicer to look at, kinder on the eyes.
Secondly on those action shots get some higher shots, get on a stool a table capture the action and the people. If that second shot was 3 feet higher it would be significantly better.
You are the photographer, they hired you, don’t be afraid to kick trash out of the way to get your shot, even ask people to pose, with the promise of being in something like a yearbook I am sure they would be happy too. And your bosses/supervisors will tell you if you are asking to much or interfering.
An action shot like the basketball does not read relaxed. For that you may want to get a picture of people hanging out, sitting, enjoying the day.
Think of some fun angles the difference between a medium shot like that and a low shot from the ground. The effects that has in the picture.
Focus is a big thing, it really has nothing to do with your eye sight- from the looks of it you have a camera with automatic focus, see if it has a manual focus and play with it, see what you can do by blurring objects in the foreground or background.
Learn Photoshop it will save your butt. The work you can do afterwards in photoshop to improve a picture is miraculous.
Lighting is a big thing, light is what makes your picture more and less readable, try to get as much natural light as you can it will really help the quality of your image.
Get a nicer camera, it looks like you are using a regular point and click digital camera- if you are interested in photography you should consider getting a high end camera.
Get rid of the light bulb photo it is weird, unfocused, and looks like it is filled with man jelly.
Lastly there is a forum for photographers I have never been there because I am not but that may be a community you are interested in!
Pretty good work for a beginner! Practice makes perfect make sure you just constantly take photos, the more you take of a scene in different angles the more you have to choose from when it comes to your final decision and submission!
A Cartoonist is just a lazy Animator.